International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2019 | Month: April | Volume: 9 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 36-42

Morphology and Morphometric Analysis of the Foramen Magnum in Dried Adult Skulls in North Indian Region

Dalvinder Singh1, Poonam Patnaik2, Neha Gupta3

1Professor, 2Associate Professor,
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi - 110025
3Professor, Sudha Rustagi College of Dental Science & Research Institute, Faridabad, Haryana -121002

Corresponding Author: Dalvinder Singh


Introduction: Foramen magnum is a clinically important landmark present at the skull base due to its close association with brain stem and spinal cord. The foramen magnum dimensions are necessary because the structures passing through it may be compressed in cases of foramen magnum meningioma, foramen magnum achondroplasia and foramen magnum herniation, additionally as also required to determine some malformations such as Arnold Chiari syndrome, which shows expansion of transverse diameter. Thus, the present study was carried out to provide the morphology and morphometry of foramen magnum of dry human skulls in North Indian population.
Materials and methods: Eighty four dry skulls of adult human being were studied. Anteroposterior and transverse diameters of foramen magnum were calculated using vernier caliper and shapes were visually assessed. Additionally, the area and index of foramen magnum were also calculated using formulae.
Results: The average anteroposterior diameter and transverse diameter of foramen magnum were 33.57±2.82 mm and 27.49±2.61 mm respectively. The average area and index of the foramen magnum were calculated as 728.12±112.98 mm2 and 82.09±7.04 respectively. The incidence of the morphological types of foramen magnum were observed as a oval shape in 29.76% of cases, round in 26.19%, tetragonal in 16.67%, egg shape in 10.71%, irregular in 5.95%, hexagonal in 5.95% and pentagonal in 4.76% of the cases.
Conclusion: The data obtained may serve as an aid to neurosurgeons in assessing the morphology of carniovertebral junction in lateral transcondylar surgical approaches for reaching lesions in the middle and posterior part of cranial base. The findings are also enlightening for the anaesthetist, orthopaedic surgeon, radiologists, forensic experts, anatomists and anthropologists.

Key words: Skull, foramen magnum, morphology, morphometry, shape.

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